image credit: Twilio Verify

5 Strategies for Balancing Security, Acquisition, and Support Costs Without Sacrificing CX

October 11, 2022


Since its inception, the global pandemic has continued to have a long-lasting impact on how we buy, work, and also how our businesses operate. 

As such, user behaviour has naturally evolved, leading to developments in customer experience (CX) to meet the changing needs and expectations brought about by the challenges of the pandemic. 

For the security industry, an influx in new accounts created as a result of an increased dependence and demand for E-commerce products and services has led to significant security vulnerabilities. Frauds such as fake account creation, account takeovers, SMS fraud, and incentive-based fraud (also known as “friendly fraud” where users repeatedly exploit weaknesses within referral programmes to secure limitless discounts or credits) have all risen as a consequence. 

Now, as we face the next challenge of a global recession and the escalating acquisition, operational, and support costs, the need for cost-effective, scalable, and user-friendly security is greater than ever. 

Get started with these five strategies to keep users secure whilst delivering great UX:

1. Secure your onboarding experience and make it seamless

Onboarding can be a fragile process, both in terms of establishing trust and the risk of user abandonment. With as much as 65% of consumers frustrated with login experiences, it comes as no surprise that even a minor inconvenience can lead to users abandoning their journey with a brand. 

A perfect example of this behaviour is high user drop-off when faced with having to complete a CAPTCHA. While alarming, this eventually led to the development of reCAPTCHA V3, an alternative solution that scores activity using risk analysis to identify the need for users to complete a “login challenge” or not. 

To provide secure onboarding, start by choosing a verification API that integrates well with your sign-up flow for your users (see point 2 for more detail). Implementing this in your onboarding process will not only combat fraud but also support quality CX that retains users. 

Continue this initiative by crafting an intuitive user interface (UI) that allows users to complete simple steps across a multichannel process, providing them with a seamless CX. Make sure to supply your new customers with all the information they require.

This will help reduce your support costs while ensuring users receive the guidance they need, however, be careful not to crowd inboxes.

2. Update your verification model

Verification is critical in the fight against fraud and its associated damages to revenue and, most importantly, trust. Indeed, 81% of users typically stop engaging with a brand or their solutions after they have suffered a data breach. 

To avoid losing customers and brand authority, be sure to integrate and regularly update your verification model to meet the demands of new threats. Communicating these changes will also help to establish trust with your user base (see point 4). Below are two options for keeping your verification model up-to-date:

  • Two-factor verification (2FA):

Consider implementing a multichannel, 2-factor verification model to improve CX and customer satisfaction. Verification that allows the user themselves to choose their preferred channel empowers them to tailor their CX to directly fit in with their needs. 

This could include SMS, voice, email, push, Whatsapp, or time-based OTPs. Contain these within a single scalable API to remove as much friction from your process as possible.

While protecting your users through OTPs via SMS or voice channels is a must, it can leave your company open to a new type of fraud known as “SMS pumping”, where fraudsters run a script comprising of thousands of mobile phone numbers to simultaneously make a variety of requests via SMS including OTPs, download links, or any other option available to them. 

As a result, attacks can generate high volumes of traffic and extreme costs for businesses. Learn more about this latest threat here.

  • Silent Network Authentication (SNA) 

To prevent risks of SMS pumping, consider implementing Silent Network Authentication. SNA is a form of secure consumer authentication to protect end-users, accounts, and transactions without requiring users to wait or leave a business’ app. It uses direct carrier connections to verify possession of a phone number in the background without requiring user input. 

There are neither 6-digit passcodes nor authenticator app downloads, which also means there is nothing for a fraudster to phish. Because of this, SNA is immune to social engineering while continuing to be a user-friendly verification solution, resulting in a 30% increase in user onboarding speed. 

3. Streamline your account security vendors

In times of recession, the most logical strategy is often to identify steps you can take to reduce spending where possible to maximise profits. 

While streamlining tech stacks is an obvious choice, the emphasis should be on greater optimisation and the removal of redundancies to improve, not harm, CX. 

As you have developed your account security over time and added new features, this may have led to a fragmented approach across several vendors. Not only is this counterproductive for integration but also presents issues for maintaining an in-depth oversight of your account security.

If your legacy systems are outdated, implement a single API capable of handling all of your needs and integrating well into your existing processes. Not only will this reduce operational costs but it will also allow you better insight into your security, freeing up more time to prioritise CX optimisations.

4. Build trust with users

Building trust is essential for growing and retaining customer bases. However, securing trust from your users takes a significant amount of time and is often quite fragile. Kickstart the process right from the moment that customers are onboarded by implementing the right strategies.

Start by verifying users and their transactions, as well as sharing a breakdown of the threats that have been handled. This helps to show the value of your service and develop trust. 

In addition, nurture users by communicating how your security is evolving to better meet customer needs and changing risks. Regular updates demonstrate a dedication to providing the best service and safeguarding your customers, no matter the threat. 

This open line of communication with customers will ultimately help to reduce support and acquisition costs as customers stay with and recommend your service to others as trustworthy. 

5. Counter user abandonment and improve retention

Improving retention with account security is a top priority for any business looking to maintain growth and not lose out on opportunities to their competition. While trust is crucial for retention,  it is also essential to make support a central focus of your account security strategy to combat this issue.

Central to CX, the support you provide customers will likely always be a focus of scrutiny and therefore, continuous development (direct feedback is also invaluable here). Start by ensuring that your user base has easy access to account security support when they need it. This should start with onboarding processes and be available to them through their preferred channels.

Although fast response times are essential, you can bolster gaps in the availability of your support agents by supplying users with easy how-to guides for handling common queries. 

Further streamline support by providing multiple password reset options for users via their preferred channels, ideally with an omnichannel verification API. Chatbots are also a fantastic way to provide automated, round-the-clock support for users whilst still reducing costs.

Be sure to combine your OTP or Silent Network Authentication verification solutions with your 24/7 support. Not only is this essential for improving customer experience but this is also critical for tackling serious issues such as fraud in a timely and effective manner.

Final thoughts

Given the impending impact of the global recession, the risk of losing new or existing customers and opportunities in today’s competitive market is higher than ever.

The next greatest challenge for companies is to balance delivering the best and most secure customer experience for their users, while also combatting high operational, support, and acquisition costs.

Implementing account security primed for providing users with the seamless CX they have come to expect whilst reducing acquisition and operational costs, is a powerful strategy for boosting growth even in difficult times.

Twilio Verify + Boku Mobile Identity

Boasting multichannel verification, full integration, and the ability to scale globally with ease, Twilio Verify is the perfect solution to meet your account security needs in today’s climate. 

Move away from outdated legacy systems and fragmented security. Tailored to your specific needs, Verify leverages a single API that integrates seamlessly into your sign-up flow, allowing you to provide flawless and secure onboarding for your customers, all while minimising costs.  

To meet the influx of online transactions Twilio has acquired Boku Mobile Identity, allowing our clients to protect their users from fraud with optimised security, without compromising on exemplary CX. 

You need a solution built to empower your growth, even in uncertain times.

Visit our page for more information and to get in touch with our team.